“Put your hands in the air!”
The police surround me, and as I turn to face them I begin to step backwards towards the edge of the building. I hold my bag tighter to my chest. I can’t lose this. I can’t let the team down.
“You have nowhere to go, thief, stand down.” A police officer says as they continue to close in around me.
I know what I have to do, we planned for this. The team told me I’d need to, and the they set it up so I would be safe, but even so, in this moment, I’m scared. I look over my shoulder for a second, instantly turning back. That was a mistake. Even so, it’s too late to change my mind now. I clutch the bag to my chest even harder, put my feet on the edge, and lean back.
I’m falling. I’m falling backwards through the air and hoping the team did their job. If they didn’t, I’m dead. The police must be in shock, wondering how stupid a person must be to fall from the Louvre museum. How stupid am I to have agreed to this?
I feel the hay that I hit, scratchy, but soft enough to pillow my fall. They did it. I pull myself up and shuffle through the hay, running off to the alleyway Carlyle agreed to meet me.
“How was the fall, Macie?” He jokes.
“Awful.” My response is flat, humorless.
“Remind me why someone who doesn’t hate heights couldn’t have done that?”
“Because you’re the only one who’s small enough to have gotten to that treasure.” He gestures towards the brown sack. “Now let’s get back to base.”
We sneak back to the small stone house just outside of town. We are careful to evade the eyes of the police, for fear of being recognized. At some point during the height, we were all seen-the whole team, just by different officers. The heist was a group effort, two lock picks, a distractor, two people to set up the hay then guard the doors, and me. Carlyle was one of the lock picks, and I had an entirely different job. I was set to grab the artifacts and sneak through a small hole to get to the right part of the roof, to ensure my jump would reach the hay. Now we are all taking our own paths back to base.
“Let’s see it!” Tate, the other lock pick, says once we all get to our destination.
I toss him the bag and he pulls out the three pieces, all intricate gold statues.
“Beautiful.” Carlyle comments. “How much do you think the English noblemen will buy for?”
“A good many gold pieces.” I respond. “And I should get some extra of the cut for being the one to jump.”
“You know the rules.” Lara, another member of the team states. “Everything is split evenly no matter what. Next time we can give you an easier job, you’ll still get the same amount of the cut.”
“But that one won’t pay as much!” I complain, making my words dramatic to make it clear I’m not being serious.
“Let’s go ahead and scout out the next city.” Lara changes the subject.
I nod and we head to the door, Tate shoving the three statues into the secret spot behind the fireplace bricks. We split up upon arriving at the small city at the edge of France, Lara staying with me.
“What do you think we’ll find here?” I ask. “It’s not exactly known for it’s riches.”
“There are some ruins, closed to the public. I’ve heard some travelers that have an eye for antiques may be coming by.”
“Those kinds of travelers never have money though.”
“But they have things. We’ll trade, likely for something very valuable to us.”
“But there’s no guarantee.”
“Not technically, but trust me on this, we’ll get something nice.”
We walk around the city and spot the area fenced off for the ruins. I peer over, noticing a few pots far off. This will definitely be an easy job, but first we should sell the gold statues. I wave for Lara to follow me, and head back to the house. The trek alone is a day, so it took a total of three days for us to discover the betrayal that had taken place.
When we checked the secret spot, the gold was gone. Nothing else around the house had been altered, so we know it wasn’t the work of the police, so it must have been one of our own.
“Why would you do this Macie?” Carlyle accuses. “We trusted you. I trusted you.”
“I didn’t do this!” I respond, appalled. “Why would you accuse me of such a thing? I’ve been with Lara this whole time, and you all are my friends, not just my partners in crime. Why would I ever betray you?”
“You said it yourself, you want more than your cut of the money. You are not a part of this team, all you want is your own personal gain.”
“All we all want is our own personal gain! We’re a team of thieves!”
As I say the words, I notice he’s wearing a jacket. We never wears a jacket, especially not inside; he claims they’re too stuffy. I walk towards him, the whole group staring at me in confusion and horror, unsure of whether or not they should believe his words.
I rip off the jacket and out tumble two of the three statues, and a small pouch that jangles when it hits the ground.
“How dare you.” I growl. “I thought you were my friend, and not only do you accuse me of breaking the trust of the group but you did so knowing that it was not I, but you who betrayed us.”
He looks around, his usual humor void from his eyes as he reaches to pick up his jacket, leaving the gold.
“I refuse to be weakened by a team.”
Lara glares at him as she speaks. “Then leave, and instead be weakened by your own foolishness.”